Getting stuff done: Comparing e-mail requests from students in higher education in Britain and Australia
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A small corpus of student e-mail requests to academic staff in a British and an Australian university was collected in order to investigate the cross-cultural nature of Englishes in these requesting events. The notions of account and but-justification, together with the concepts of equity and equilibrium are used to explicate the distribution of various features associated with these requests. Results indicate that the British data orient to deferential dependence whereas the Australian data exhibit interdependent egalitarianism. Finally, the process of our analysis brings to light the fact that we ought to refine Heider's (1958) theory of obligation and this, we do. The overall claims of this paper are that the situated nature of student e-mail requests can have a great bearing on the discursive construction of student identities, that this has a bearing on how things get done, and that how things get done in different varieties of English merits further investigation.
Journal of Pragmatics
Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V.. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Discourse and Pragmatics